Norwegian aluminum producer Hydro has captured its first aluminium tube orders for solar collectors from Solarbayer GmbH in Germany and the Polish company Hewalex.
In a press release Hydro says this means it has taken the lead in Europe in the introduction of aluminium tubes to the solar thermal industry as a replacement for traditional copper tubes.
Solarbayer GmbH in Germany and Hewalex have ordered round-tube solutions for their respective solar thermal systems. These tubes are typically used in flat-plate collectors on rooftops, for residential and industrial utilization.
Hydro is manufacturing the aluminium tubes at its precision tubing plant in Denmark.
Flat-plate collectors are the dominating solar thermal technology in Europe. While aluminium has begun to replace copper as the preferred material for absorber sheet, the first absorbers made with aluminium tubes are now entering the market.
"We offer aluminium alloys that can withstand corrosion over the lifetime expectancy of the systems," says Salvador Biosca, who is responsible for Hydro's aluminium precision tubing activities.
In December, Hydro received the results from some of the toughest high-temperature corrosion tests ever performed, together with Solartechnik Prüfung Forschung (SPF) in Switzerland. The tests, which simulated 20 years of use, confirmed that aluminium tubes manufactured in Hydro’s HyLife™ Solar alloy are fit for use in solar thermal systems. This is twice as long as the 10-year standard industry warranty.